As a mother of four kids ages 13, 11, 6 and 4 years, I absolutely agree about over-protective (or over-involved) parents of one or two children! I have a gaggle of kids of varying ages screaming in our large backyard as I write this. I believe my husband and I "buck" the directive/overprotective idea by forcing them to work things out on their own outside with their siblings and neighborhood kids. We practice the need for apologizing and forgiveness out loud during disputes. Our children are also only allowed to participate in one activity outside of school at a time so that our family life does not get too out of control and to allow for unstructured/play time. My older kids rode (when in 2nd/4th grades and up) their bikes to/from school in our small city, and I used to get several comments from parents who drove by about how they couldn't believe we allow them to do that . . . However, my children are becoming resilient individuals who are developing the ability to solve problems. I also have strong faith that they are protected!

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